The Blessing of a Bad Memory

I've been thinking more lately about why some of us are able to Let Go of The Past so easily, focusing our energies on present happiness and future goals. I've concluded that the ability has a lot to do with our long term memory, or lack thereof.

Take me for example: I don't have a very good long term memory, at least in terms of specifics. Sure, I remember vague feelings of joy, frustration, and sadness in connection with certain events or periods of my life. But I can't replay any of those moments in my mind. Nor can I remember specifics about what anyone said or did. This means I am unable to hold a grudge for very long. It's virtually impossible, as my bad memory won't let me. I consider this a blessing. Given a little bit of time, I will leave the past behind and bring my thoughts forward along with me, returning their focus to my happiness "set point", a level that allows me to be optimistic and goal oriented most of the time. I can usually enjoy the next moment regardless of the previous.

I can't easily imagine what it is like to have a mind full of detailed memories. Is it easy for fears to surface? Is such a mind haunted by the possibility of repeating discomfort? It's probably just as easy for that to happen as it is to revel in the details of past joys. But managing those high thoughts and low thoughts must also be tiring. I really don't know. I have never lived it. So I'm only speculating.

All I can do, given my own perspective, is conclude that what I have ... works for me.

Posted: Fri - January 30, 2004 at 11:22 PM